China Mo­bile eyes 2020 start for 5G


China Mo­bile Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Corp, the world’s largest tele­com car­rier with 845 mil­lion mo­bile sub­scribers, is get­ting an early start to pre­pare for 5G net­works.

The Bei­jing-based firm will se­lect four to five cities in 2017 to build pre-com­mer­cial pro­to­types to ver­ify and de­velop 5G sys­tems. It is step­ping up ef­forts to reach the goal of com­mer­cial­iz­ing 5G ser­vices in 2020.

“China Mo­bile is an en­ter­pris­ing stu­dent. In ad­di­tion to con­duct­ing 5G tech­nol­ogy tests, we are pre­par­ing in ad­vance for 5G com­mer­cial prod­ucts,” said Huang Yuhong, deputy head of the China Mo­bile Re­search In­sti­tute.

Huang made the com­ments at a con­fer­ence held by the IMT-2020 (5G) Pro­mo­tion Group, a body set up by China to guide 5G de­vel­op­ment. The or­ga­ni­za­tion an­nounced tech­ni­cal specifications for the sec­ond phase of 5G R&D tests in late Novem­ber, after the first phase was con­cluded in Septem­ber.

The sec­ond phase will test tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions for the 5G mo­bile in­ter­net and the in­ter­net of things. The tests will be con­ducted on a unified plat­form, with unified fre­quen­cies. The aim is to de­velop 5G pre-com­mer­cial pro­to­types, the IMT-2020 (5G) Pro­mo­tion Group said in a state­ment.

“5G will no longer be a sim­ple tech­nol­ogy or a sys­tem. Road map of China Mo­bile’s 5G plans

Se­lect four to five cities to set up sites for sys­tem ver­i­fi­ca­tion and de­vel­op­ment of pre-com­mer­cial pro­to­types. Se­lect sev­eral cities for tests on the in­ter­net of things; de­vel­op­ment of endto-end com­mer­cial prod­ucts and pre-com­mer­cial net­work. Ex­pand the scale of the 5G trial net­work. De­ploy over 10,000 5G base sta­tions, in prepa­ra­tion for the launch of com­mer­cial 5G ser­vices.

In­stead, it is a plat­form in which the tele­com in­dus­try needs to be deeply linked with other sec­tors. That is a fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ence be­tween 5G and 4G,” Huang said.

She said that the grow­ing de­mand for su­per­fast in­ter­net speeds will mo­ti­vate the evo­lu­tion of 5G and it is of ut­most im­por­tance to start cross-sec­tor co­op­er­a­tion at an early stage.

The firm set up a 5G joint in­no­va­tion cen­ter in Fe­bru­ary, which so far has at­tracted 42 firms as part­ners. Th­ese in­clude not only tele­com equip­ment mak­ers and chip firms, but also au­to­mo­bile man­u­fac­tur­ers in­clud­ing Audi AG and BYD Co Ltd and home ap­pli­ance gi­ants Haier Group and Hisense Group, as well as five star­tups.

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